PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings’ streaky season is on an uptick.
Jonathan Quick stopped 40 shots, Drew Doughty scored and the Kings beat the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers 1-0 on Sunday for their first regulation win in Philadelphia in nearly 18 years.
Los Angeles moved to 4-0-2 on its current 10-game road trip, which continues through Columbus, both New York teams and Anaheim through Feb. 23. It also snapped the Flyers’ three-game winning streak.
Mike Richards’ turnover behind the net led to Doughty’s goal. The defenseman fired a one-timer from the top of the slot past rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Anze Kopitar assisted, his 19th point in the last 23 games.
The Kings had a chance to go up 2-0 minutes later, but Bobrovsky did the splits to deny Wayne Simmonds on the right side. Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots.
“Up and down, up and down, up and down,” Kopitar said. “We’re on the up slope again. It feels way better than the down slope. We just want to stay here and keep going like that.”
The Kings have been on an impressive roller-coaster ride. They started the season 12-3, then lost seven of eight. They recovered to win nine of 12, then dropped 10 of 12. Now, they have won seven of nine thanks to a big effort from a well-rested Quick.
Los Angeles’ starting goalie watched backup Jonathan Bernier shut down the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Saturday night. He looked sharp in Sunday’s matinee, covering up a loose puck with 8:28 left after Danny Briere fanned on Jeff Carter’s pass to the goal mouth.
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger also hit the post with a shot in the first period.
“They create a lot of stuff in front,” Quick said of the Flyers’ high-powered offense.
“They’re a good team that scores a lot of goals, and that’s one of the ways they go about it. As a team, we were prepared for that and everything worked out.”
The Flyers had a big chance to tie it during a 20-second 5-on-3 advantage in the second, but couldn’t break through. They went 0 for 4 overall with an advantage.
“The (penalty) killers did a great job,” Kopitar said. “Quickie made some huge stops in the second period. It wasn’t a long 5-on-3, but winning the draws and clearing the puck frustrates them and frustrates the crowd. They started booing them and that’s where we sensed that we really were going to shut them down. It just kept going like that.”
It has to keep going like that if the Kings are going to reach the postseason. The victory pushed Los Angeles past idle Calgary and into ninth place in the tight Western Conference with 65 points.
“There was a big dig in today,” said Los Angeles coach Terry Murray, who coached the Flyers to a Stanley Cup in 1997. “That’s a very hard game when you’re coming off a game yesterday against a high-powered Washington team, then facing the same against a better team. Our goaltending was outstanding. There were a lot of plays happening from behind the net, quick bang-bang plays that require incredible focus and concentration. He was right on top of it.”
Doughty’s goal came 17 seconds into the second period.
“(Simmonds) went in there with some speed, and they tried to reverse it,” Kopitar said. “I was in there and saw Drew going right down the middle, so I figured I’d slide it to him and he one-timed it.”
Quick took it from there, helping the Kings improve to 18-0 when leading after two periods and recording his sixth shutout of the season, tying him for third in the league with Montreal’s Carey Price.
“I think we got close to 20 quality chances, but couldn’t solve the goaltender,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was tight out there, and I think it will be the rest of the way. The goaltender deserves credit, he played a heck of a game.”
Despite outshooting the Kings 40-25, the Flyers were shut out for the fifth time this season. They also were blanked in Tampa Bay on Feb. 1, which was also their last defeat before Sunday.
NOTES: It was Los Angeles’ first regulation win in Philadelphia since April 1, 1993. That game was replayed in its entirety after blizzard conditions shattered a pane of glass on the Philadelphia Spectrum concourse after the first period on the originally scheduled date of March 13, 1993. The Kings won the replay 3-1. … The Flyers are 82-37-15-2 all-time vs. Los Angeles. … Kopitar played in his 312th consecutive game.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)